Four mistakes to avoid when connecting with people

Humans are social animals. They need to connect with others.  Internet and social network have somehow made it easier to communicate with others while offering opportunities to join groups of interests, learning clubs, sport fan groups, etc. But the real-life connection with others remains the most powerful way to become part of something more significant and more meaningful than yourself. As human beings, we still learn from our mistakes how to establish a better connection with others, meaningful and fulfilling for both – us and the other party. 

While making mistakes, we learn to become better at connecting on a deeper level with others around us. I have seen many people trying to communicate with others just for the sake of the connection, without planning how to develop this connection for them and the other person.  Also, I have seen many people trying to connect with others because they think making the connection can mean anything in the future.  Both groups’ representatives often fail.  Look at the social and professional networks – people with 2000, 3000, 10 000 and even more connections. A large number of these connections do not know why and when they have connected to you, but still, you continue to grow your “network.” 

Did I made you think about connecting with others?…

Well, if Yes, but you still want to do it, then here are four mistakes you must try to avoid to make a more meaningful and long-lasting connection.

I often see it in my LinkedIn profile – people sending me connections, without any apparent reason – they are not in my area of work or do not share interest and groups I want to be in, etc. I often reject these blank invitations.  For example, a lady is trying to connect with me 14 times because it is smart to have an HR in your network.  If you genuinely want to connect with someone, you will need to invest time.  Answer yourself the questions:

Why do you want to connect with the person?

Why now?

What can this connection bring for you both?

You do not have the answer to one or even two of these questions. Well, then it is not the time to connect. To avoid making empty connections, you need to invest time in building your strategy for a meaningful relationship.  For example: At every event, I visit I only take ten business cards with me. And I know that I am on this event to connect with concrete people.  If I cannot find people I want to communicate with, I do not waste my time and others’ time and pocket space by just giving as many business cards as possible.  I do not have time for empty connections and do not want to waste others’ time while trying to make one like that.  

To truly connect, you need to know the purpose of the connection and to have enough time to let that connection expand by itself.  It can happen right after you have met the person, or the link can evolve in time, but you still need to have enough time to let it grow. 

Trying to connect when you do not have time

A common issue with connecting is to try to do it just because you have planned it.  Declaring interest in someone and then showing that you can invest limited time with the person can have the opposite effect.  If you want to connect, you will need to plan and allocate time to do it the right way.  The person you are trying to communicate with must feel pleased and not as the next task on your list for the day.

Not listening

A couple of days before I write this, I have had to meet with a new potential business partner.  The lady came to our office, and during a thirty-minute meeting, she showed me that has not listened to even a word of what I have said.  At the end of the session, the question I got was, “Are you ready to work with us?” I politely asked for several days to analyze the information and then, on the next day, declined the offer to work with the company she was representing.  The turning point here was that the lady did not listen to my needs but started selling her product by script.  If you want to connect with the other person in your interaction, you will need to listen to what they have to say and adapt yourself to what you hear.    

Ignoring your gut

Another common situation that I see is people who get into connection mode just because they have it on their to-do list for the day.  There are different situations, and you must analyze the information from each to answer for yourself the question: “Do I need to make an effort trying to connect?” Sometimes, no matter how the other person can impact your activity or results, you feel that it is not OK to make an effort to convince the person to connect.  Do not ignore your gut.  We call the 6th sense our unconscious that beeps in our head that the action is not worth it at the current moment.  What you need here is to decide if the effort is worth it now, or you need to make it late or maybe never. There are many opportunities to connect, but your gut can help you filter them and focus on the winning ones.  Different connections have different added value, and trusting your heart can help you choose the ones that can benefit you.

Not giving yourself space

Several years ago, I was actively recruiting for a large company and have had a boss who demanded that we make at least one new connection each day.  It was uncomfortable for me because I had to search for someone to connect to, just for the sake of the action.  The quality of almost half of my connections was low because I did not invest time in developing them.  Yes- I have had a large number of connections, but nothing else except that. To build and establish a meaningful relationship, you will need time.  Not every moment from the day of the week is for connecting.  You do not need to foster yourself to make the connection just for the sake of it. There are days that you do not have the attitude or willingness to start connecting.  These days are something that happens to anyone.  If you feel like that, you will need to stop.  To make a meaningful connection, the one thing you need is space to structure your approach and prepare yourself to make a winning connection.

IN CONCLUSION:

Like social beings, we need to connect to others.  No matter in work or personal life, connection with others is what makes us feel good.  But to build a meaningful relationship, you will need to focus on quality instead of quantity.  And to create higher quality connections, you must listen to yourself and what others you want to connect with you are saying.  Sounds simple? –  They why not give it a try a make the next meaningful connection in your life.

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